12 September 2019News

Healthy and strong—but talent is essential

How would you characterise the health of the Bermuda captives market?

The health of the Bermuda captive insurance market is very strong. In June Bermuda held its 15th Annual Captive Conference, which was viewed by the industry as a huge success. The conference attracted nearly 800 delegates representing captive insurance company owners, risk managers, brokers, captive managers and service providers from seven different countries.

During the first six months of the year, Bermuda added 12 new captives. New registrations for 2019 are predicted to surpass the 19 new captives added for the entire year in 2018.

What trends are you seeing in terms of formations and risks?

We’re seeing a lot more interest from the middle market. Companies are realising that captives are not just for Fortune 500 corporations. There also appears to be more interest in group and association captives and rent-a-captives.

With increased pricing and a reduction of capacity in primary insurance markets, companies are looking for alternative solutions to manage their risk and captives can be an important part of those solutions.

We’ve seen increased deductibles flowing through to captives; captives completing layers that weren’t fully subscribed; and captives being used to access reinsurance markets.

What is BIMA focused on? What are your current objectives?

Our focus hasn’t changed since BIMA was formed over 40 years ago. Our mandate remains to:

  1. Protect the interests of members and clients;
  2. Liaise with regulators and/or any association or body on matters affecting the captive insurance industry;
  3. Provide a unified approach to challenges and opportunities that may be of concern to the association’s members; and
  4. Encourage professionalism of the members in carrying out their business.

How does Bermuda’s offering compare with that of other domiciles?

Bermuda is the largest, oldest and most well-established captive domicile, with a first-class professional infrastructure. We have a deep bench of experienced captive specialists including insurance managers, insurance lawyers, accountants and actuaries. We have been in the captives business for well over 50 years.

Bermuda has the third largest re/insurance market which allows us to offer one-stop shopping to risk professionals. We have an accessible insurance regulator who takes a risk-based approach to regulation. This year, the regulator has demonstrated its practical approach to innovation with the creation of the Insurance Regulatory Sandbox and the Insurance Innovation Hub. All these reasons make Bermuda the domicile of choice for captives.

What are some of the innovative things you are seeing?

Insurance for emerging risks such as insurtech, global employee benefits, cyber and reputational risk.

Are there any current threats to the captives sector in Bermuda?

One threat to the Bermuda insurance industry generally, including the captive insurance industry, is the ageing of insurance and captives specialists. BIMA has recognised that we need to attract younger people to our industry to replace those who are retiring.

At the 2019 Bermuda Captive Conference, students were invited to participate to develop talent and foster interest in insurance careers.

Two special interactive sessions directed towards students were added: Bermuda: The Home of Captives and What That Means, and Student Learning Sessions: Roundtable Discussions with Professionals in the Field.

We have also started a community outreach programme directed at
high school and middle school students to ensure students are knowledgeable about career possibilities in the captive insurance industry. n

Kathleen Bibbings is president of the Bermuda Insurance Management Association.